Friday, August 5, 2016

What's she up to now?!

This is one of those blog posts that I am actually planning out in Word before posting, as opposed to just typing directly into the box. I don’t want to forget anything important or mess up too badly!

Just the other day (which could be two days to a month ago), I was thinking about my blog. I took a trip down memory lane, and I’d like to revisit that with you all.

I started this blog in 2007, I believe, with the intention of writing about magical properties of herbs, fruits, vegetables, etc. I did that. I wanted to discuss sabbats and seasonally-appropriate recipes to help celebrate the turning of the wheel of the year. I did that. I included some recipes here and there, both referenced from other sites and my own creations. Sweet. Another check mark on the to-do list.
What I never did, though, was take all of my recipe ideas and sabbat celebration ideas and put it into a book. I meant to do that ages ago. Oops.

 I’ve actually worked on this project several times. It has had different incarnations over the years. I just never felt satisfied with what I was doing. Then, last year, inspiration struck, and I hit upon what I wanted to do. I’m still in the planning stages, so I don’t have a whole lot to tell you yet.
Maybe I’m just chronically bad at finishing projects; we’ll see. That’s my mantra, always: “We’ll see.”

I am going to put some of my unemployment time and energy into planning and organizing, and I’ll be testing a few things here and there, but it’s going to be a lengthy process. I might suffer burnout. I might have to come to you all for encouragement.

As for the blog, I have said all there is to say about magical properties of ingredients, etc. That doesn’t mean I won’t have new recipes and things to share in the future, however. I shan’t abandon my beloved blog, but content may soon consist of test recipes and me begging for the sweet release of death because I’m buried alive in recipes. Again, we’ll see.

Oh, and lest I completely forget: The project itself! I am working on a book of days. A kitchen witch’s book of days, to be exact. There will be information on magical properties, ideas for sabbats, and some other rantings and ramblings of mine, but most importantly, it will be almost a recipe a day. That’s a lotta recipes! I guess I’d better get back to my planning!

Love to you all, and thank you for reading. I shall be in touch shortly, I hope. 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

A Midsummer Day's Salad

Did you appreciate my take on Shakespeare? No? Everyone's a critic!

Anyway, this salad is a delightful, refreshing recipe that is perfect for any hot summer day, but especially when the sun shines the strongest at Midsummer.

This is my take on tabbouleh - a Middle Eastern salad with bulgur wheat and lots of parsley. I have updated it a bit by using quinoa because it's delicious, easy to digest, full of protein, and just really, really good for you.

Another change I've made is with the tomatoes. Please, use tomatoes if you like them, but I do not care for raw "maters". My substitute? Watermelon! It was incredibly delicious, and the flavors worked together beautifully. Seriously, this is something you shouldn't knock until you've tried it. You'll be pleasantly surprised, I think.

Midsummer Tabbouleh

1 cup quinoa, uncooked

1 cup finely minced parsley - use a food processor
1/2 cup finely minced mint
1 cup finely sliced green onions
1 large hothouse cucumber, sliced into half moons
1 cup watermelon, cut into small chunks (I used seedless because I'm lazy)

1/4 cup each fresh squeezed lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

To prepare:

 Cook the quinoa according to package directions.  While quinoa cooks, prepare dressing by whisking together lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.  When quinoa is done, allow to cool for about 10 minutes before tossing with 1/2 the dressing. Chill for approximately 1 hour. Combine the rest of the ingredients with the quinoa and the rest of the dressing. Toss gently to combine. Place back in the refrigerator to chill completely and allow flavors to meld.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Mmm...Free Reading

I'd love to give someone a reading. If you'd like to be that lucky person, head on over to Nar's Tarot Table - Win a Free Reading and follow the instructions. This is for an all-encompassing 9-card reading.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Some Tarot Time

I haven't really written much over here about my other blog, Nar's Tarot Table, nor have I written much there lately. I've been a busy lady lately, but I am about to have a lot of free time on my hands. I believe I mentioned in a previous post that my contract at work did not get renewed. I am out of a job after June 30. I don't have anything else lined up yet. I had an interview today, but the other communication has been of the rejection variety. Jobs begin in mid-August, and I need time to move and get settled in a new place before the job starts. Universities are slow to contact anyone about anything, however, so I'm still playing the waiting game.

Which brings me to this: I'm offering my services as a tarot reader through my Etsy store. I started reading 18 years ago, and I think it's time to start working on the witchy business idea I've had in my adorable little brain for a few years now. Therefore, if anyone is interested in looking at what I have to offer and maybe sharing the posting (please share), you can find things here: My tarot readings on Etsy.

Thank you all for your time and attention. I will have a lot of free time on my hands for a while. I hope I have some creative, productive ways in which to fill it.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Beltane! May Day!

It's also my dad's birthday, yay!

As you may have noticed, I did not put anything about Beltane, and here's why: I had a painful experience at a May Day celebration many years ago, and it has stayed with me. There are a lot of things I could say about Beltane and why it's not one of my favorite sabbats, but I'll save it for those who really want to know. I won't force it upon all of you, ha ha!

I did test some recipes and get some more organizing done for project, but it's still a long, slow process. It'll get there, maybe. We'll see.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Recipe Testing Extravaganza

I've been working on my book of days for the kitchen witch, and that means lots of brainstorming and cooking/testing recipes. It's great fun when you have the time and the money! I don't always have both of those things together, though, so this weekend has been kind of special.

I made three recipes this weekend. That isn't many, considering how many more I have left to do, but it's progress. 

I even took photos! They're crappy, but I have some. Wanna see? 

The star of the show this weekend was Beet Ravioli. 

Beets are great for you, plus they are beautiful and sweet and earthy and...  I'm drooling on my keyboard thinking about all that tender pasta surrounding creamy golden filling and ohshitthereIgoagain!

Let's just talk about the recipe for now, shall we? We can do all the correspondences later, gators. 

The first thing I did was trim two golden beets, wrap them in foil, and roast them at 425 for an hour. After they were cooled, I peeled and quartered them. 

I also roasted a tiny head of garlic at 375 for about 15 minutes and let that cool. 

The main filling ingredients are the roasted beets, the roasted garlic, some ricotta, and some goat cheese. There are some herbs involved, too, but they were feeling camera shy. 

They look fine in the food processor, though. This is my teensy Ninja chopper. I lurve it. 

Oh, yeah, I'm lazy AF, so I used egg roll wrappers instead of making pasta. I don't exactly have the counter space for it, and my pasta roller has only ever been used for polymer clay. Not too food-friendly. 

So, grab some wonton wrappers or egg roll wrappers and cut them in half like I did. 

The filling blends up nice and creamy: 

Now, I don't know about you, but I have a kitchen elf. His name is Martin and he's from Australia, and I put him to work filling and folding the ravioli. 

He kind of had his own system for folding them, but it mostly worked out: 

This was batch number 2 because the first one mysteriously disappeared last night. Hmm... We ran out of wrappers for this batch, though, and of course the store across the road was out of them. Now I have a bit of extra filling in the fridge, waiting on me to bring home a fresh pack of wrappers from a different store tomorrow. 

There you have it - the reason I don't photograph recipes very often! Oh, and a recipe. 

Beet Ravioli 

2 golden beets, scrubbed and trimmed
1 small, small head of garlic
2 oz. goat cheese
2-3 Tablespoons ricotta
1 teaspoon fresh dill
1 Tablespoon fresh chives
salt and pepper to taste

pack of wonton wrappers

Wrap the beets in foil and roast for an hour at 425 F. Allow to cool, and then peel. Give them a rough chop so they fit in the food processor. 

Take your garlic and cut off the top. Drizzle some olive oil over the exposed cloves, wrap the head in foil, and roast at 375 until cloves are soft. This took me about 15 minutes because my garlic was so tiny, but a bigger head of garlic may take 30-35 minutes. Allow to cool. 

Note: The amount of garlic you will actually use is about 4-6 cloves, depending on size. I'll also say it depends on your love of garlic. I used the entire head, but it was the size of a ping pong ball. 

Put the beets, goat cheese, ricotta, herbs, salt, pepper, and garlic in your food processor and process until smooth. 

Place your wrappers on a lightly floured surface. Lay down one square and put about a teaspoon of filling in the middle. Dip a finger in some water and run it around the edge. Put another wrapper on top and press out all the air bubbles. My kitchen elf folded the edges again and crimped everything with a fork, but do whatever fill-and-fold method works for you. 

Boil a beeeeeg pot of water and cook them 4 at a time for about a minute. 

Sauce? I boiled my ravioli for a minute and then plopped the dumplings into a skillet of butter with lemon zest in it and fried them for less than a minute on each side, just until they began to color slightly.

There you have it. An actual recipe with actual photos!